Broeksmit: Industry Must Shape Technology to Meet Customer Needs

Mike Sorohan msorohan@mba.org

March 26, 2019

DALLAS--Seven months and a dozen "listening tours" into his job, Mortgage Bankers Association President & CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, said one message from MBA members is coming through loudly and clearly.

"Something I'm hearing loud and clear is customers' appetite for improved technology in mortgage lending and MBA members' desire to satisfy that hunger with fast-paced customer service tools," Broeksmit said here at the MBA Technology Solutions Conference & Expo. "At MBA, we recognize the incredible pressure in today's mortgage market."

BobTechWith lenders and servicers facing tight margins, Broeksmit said companies need to differentiate themselves and their services in order to best compete effectively.

"MBA members are looking to technology as one stone that can kill two birds," Broeksmit said. "First, they want to increase profitability while containing costs. And second, they want to improve the customer experience."

This involves more than just mobile device solutions, Broeksmit said. "We're talking about operational solutions such as e-signatures; receiving asset, income and employment data directly from trusted sources; e-closings; e-notes; and remote online notary."

Competition in the tech space can deliver impressive results for some lenders. "For example, one company recently announced that it can close a loan in 21 days," Broeksmit said. "Shortly thereafter, another weighed in with closing in only 8 days. Remember when closings took 30 to 60 days? It wasn't that long ago, which demonstrates just how quickly technology can propel our industry forward. The question is, can regulatory and implementation challenges keep pace to deliver the kind of exceptional customer service?

This is just one reason the MBA Board of Directors increased MBA's investment in MISMO by $2 million (see story below in Residential Finance News). "Streamlined, consistent data reporting using MISMO standards helps you do business, whether you're a lender needing consistent reporting standards or a partner creating the systems that help comply with those standards," Broeksmit said. "MBA has advocated for the nationwide adoption of MISMO and other digital advancements with federal and state regulators. Most federal agencies have already adopted MISMO, recognizing that common reporting requirements save everyone a fortune."

MBA is urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency to apply MISMO standards to multifamily lending. Additionally, MBA asked the Federal Home Loan Banks and Ginnie Mae to begin accepting eNotes. At the state level, Broeksmit said, MBA is advocating for adoption of common standards, "because you don't need 50 different standards for collecting and reporting data," and is engaged in a state-by-state campaign advocating for Remote Online Notarization.

"This will help with eClosings throughout the country," Broeksmit said. "Eleven states have already passed this legislation, and we won't stop until all 50 states are on board. MBA has tasked MISMO with developing RON standards for the industry that could also be adopted by the states when developing regulations. In response, MISMO led a collaborative effort to develop standards across lenders, title insurers, notaries, service providers and state regulators and in February of this year, MISMO released its RON standards for the states."

With signs of life appearing in the private-label securities arena, Broeksmit said it's important for that momentum to continue. Knocking down barriers to the revitalization of residential private-label securities remains a core priority for MBA," he said. "MBA asked MISMO to define a standard dataset for use by due diligence firms and rating agencies."

Technology, Broeksmit noted, "moves at an incredibly fast pace, and it changes constantly. There will therefore always be a need for innovation. Our industry is already looking to emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence."

MBA member companies need the flexibility to compete, Broeksmit said. "We work for logical solutions from government, no matter how dysfunctional it may appear at times," he said. "MBA will work to support federal legislation for data security and privacy. As a matter of fact, the industry received a bipartisan request for input from the Senate Banking Committee on this very issue, and we responded on March 15. We are engaged with the Committee in finding solutions that protect consumer data and privacy, but still allow you to serve your customers effectively and efficiently."

Broeksmit said MBA will continue to identify and advocate for elimination of new requirements at the federal and state levels that increase costs without adding benefit to consumers or lenders. "But we need you with us, connecting with and educating a new Congress, working with regulators in reshaping policies," he said. "We must remind them of our shared goal and responsibility to help borrowers. The power of our collective engagement will only make us stronger."

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